Why driving with this light on could be dangerous

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Why it's bad to drive when your low tire pressure light is on
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Why it's bad to drive when your low tire pressure light is on. Video by Jeremy Adkins.

It's a symbol on your car's dashboard that loves to appear when cold weather hits, but how dangerous is it to ignore your car's TPMS light?

First, TPMS (or tire pressure monitoring system) keeps an eye on how well inflated your tires are. When the light comes on, it usually means one of your tires is low on air.

The Triangle is home to Dill Air Control one of the leaders on TPMS gauges, and ABC11 recently visited their shop to get the low down on how dangerous a poorly inflated tire could be.

"If you drive on a low tire it could heat up and cause failure," Tyson Boyer, Manager at Dill Air Controls in Oxford told us.

TPMS lights come on when your tire is below 25 percent of the recommended PSI and temperature swings lower the amount of air in your tire by about 1 PSI per 10 degree drop.

Poorly inflated tires can fail causing a flat tire or even a blow out. Also, an underinflated tire causes the sidewall to flex more, which over time shortens the tire's life.

RELATED STORY: Other winter weather car tips from ABC11

Your car's performance also suffers when the TPMS light is on, a tire low on air handles differently and also affects the car's fuel economy.

The best solution-- when the light comes on, get air into the tire as soon as possible.

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